Vanuatu, First impressions
A fast trip
from Fiji in sporty conditions saw me safely anchored in the quarantine area
off Port Vila at dawn on day 5, no dramas or breakages and not too
fatigued. A prompt visit from customs and I was able to move onto a Yachting
World mooring and head ashore to complete the rest of the formalities.
Dawn arrival at Port Vila, Vanuatu
Port Vila was an easy place to rest and recuperate with extensive shops and a great market along the usual friendly and social atmosphere you get at all cruiser hubs. The people of Vanuatu are physically slighter than the Fijians and more reserved, they are unlikely to approach you unless you initially engage with them, but as always, a smile works in any language. Without the Indian influence of its neighbours the market was also slightly different, missing were the stalls piled high with chillies, ginger and spices, replaced by more root vegetables and salad produce. The market also had a large cafeteria area, where local ladies had small kitchens set up, a cheap and tasty lunch out when in town. The traders who run the market appear to actually live amongst their stalls for most of the week, with woven matting on the floor to sleep on, a hard life for sure.
Vanuatu has the usual security guards sitting outside the larger stores during the night and manning the entrances during the day, so obviously this, like most Capitals is not a crime free area. Roads and infrastructure are also challenging, with gaping holes in the pavements and stolen manhole covers requiring extreme caution when walking around, especially after dark.
I have however, immediately warmed to this Country, the people are genuine and very straight talking and the place is not overrun by tourists. I’m looking forward to exploring further.
A reminder not to be here during cyclone season.